In the year 1826 AD, Anuwongse, a prince of Laos, which at that time was subordinate
to Siam, led an army to the Siam city of Korat to renounce his allegiance, directly.
The Siamese governor of Korat was absent, thus the city was speedily taken and a
group of Siamese prisoners and hostages were conveyed back to Vientiene (the capital
A statue of her was installed at the town centre in 1934. The statue is in a park,
which is a popular area at night for locals. As with most statues in Thailand it
is also a shrine. Local people are to be found at any time during the day and night
paying their respects to her memory. The nickname of the statue is Yamo, which means
grandmother Mo. The statue has become a widely recognised icon of the city and province.
Thao Suranari was originally Khun Ying Mo, the wife of the assistant governor of
Nakhon Ratchasima. In 1826, Chao Anuwong of Vientiane invaded Siam and sacked Korat.
After his forces rounded up families in Korat and began herding them back toward
Vientien, Khun Ying Mo according to legend rallied villagers to fight against their
captivity, enticing the Lao soldiers with rice wine and sex.
They first confused and then overcome their captors in actions that introduced the
first blunt against the Lao incursion into Siam. In honour of this King Rama III
promoted Lady Mo to Thao Suranari. Every year during 23 March to 3 April, people
who respect Thao Suranari hold a festival to honour her bravery.
There is, however, much disagreement, including between official government historians
in Bangkok and local tellers, whether Lady Mo ( or Miss Boonleu ) even existed. Translation
of a book that detail accounts of Lady Mo, the events at Tung Samrit and important
historical references to Chao Anuwong is under draft, as of 2 June 2009, by Frank
G Anderson. The translation also contains the first ever English language detailed
description of the Thao Suranari statue, as well as references to the Italian sculptor
who first created the model for casting, Corrado Feroci.